Acupoint electrical stimulation reduces acute postoperative pain in surgical patients with patient-controlled analgesia: a randomized controlled study.

Author: Yeh ML, Chung YC, Chen KM, Tsou MY, Chen HH.
School of Nursing, National Taipei College of Nursing, Taiwan.
Conference/Journal: Altern Ther Health Med.
Date published: 2010 Nov-Dec
Other: Volume ID: 16 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 10-8 , Word Count: 201

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of acupoint electrical stimulation with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) on reducing acute pain, nausea, and vomiting after surgery for nontraumatic spinal cord injury.

METHODS: A randomized, controlled, repeated measures research design was used. Ninety-nine patients undergoing lumbar spinal surgery were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Patients in experimental group 1 (EG1) received true acupoint electrical simulation three times, whereas those in experimental group 2 (EG2) received sham acupoint manually. Patients in the control group (CG) received no acupoint intervention. All patients were measured for pain, initial demand for PCA, demand for opiates, opiate dose, vital signs, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).

RESULTS: Significant differences were found in postoperative pain, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and opiate doses across time in the three groups with better outcomes observed in EG1 than in EG2. However, no between-group difference was found in initial demand for PCA or in PONV.

CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates that acupoint electrical stimulation improves acute postoperative pain management without adversely affecting vital signs after surgery for nontraumatic spinal injury. More studies are needed to evaluate the effects ofacupoint electrical stimulation on PONV and postoperative pain following other surgical procedures.

PMID: 21280458